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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Very Littlest Dragon

The Very Littlest Dragon tells the story of a multitude of dragons, especially the one who thinks he's the smallest, Tink. Tink's size and apparent lack of special skills in the frame shop where he works with many talented dragons and a talking bear make him feel less than special. But that is before he attends the dragon wedding of the century. From there, the reader is catapulted into a labyrinth of dragon history and folklore that result in Tink becoming the most special dragon of all. 

The enchanting pictures by Laura Reynolds make the book worth just about any cover price. The writing is rich in detail, making the fantastic world of dragons perfectly plausible at the level of physics and answering all the questions you ever had about picture framing techniques. I enjoyed the interplay of dragon culture with the few humans we meet and the vast distances the dragons can travel because some of them (including Tink's brother, who acts as a willing chauffer) are capable of supersonic flight. The story is told obliquely through conversations over coffee, fish balls, and biscuits when not in frenzied action, and so the plot is not heavy-handed like it can be in some children's lit.

The editor in me won't let me end the review without noting that there are numerous textual errors in the paperback edition, ranging from misplaced commas to type-o's and misused words. Anyone who is not an editor will be able to pass these right by, as they never impede the intended meaning.

Overall, this book is for anyone from the ages of eight to one million who's looking for an imaginative, whimsical ride around the world and a sweet, positive message.

Tune in on Wednesday for a fun interview with author Baer Charlton.